Fighting
PIRACY

Three Regions your Navy combats piracy around the globe

#PresenceMatters

The U.S. Navy is forward deployed across the globe working with its international partners protecting international shipping, and deterring, disrupting and suppressing piracy.

There are three main regions the Navy focuses its efforts to combat piracy.

Horn of Africa

Motivated by escalating ransom payments that grew to millions of dollars, Somali men turned to piracy in the mid-2000s. As a result, piracy evolved from a fairly ad hoc, disorganized effort to a highly developed criminal enterprise that focused on hijacking entire merchant vessels in demand for ransom.

Gulf of Guinea

The majority of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea occur within 12 nautical miles of the coast. More often, armed robbery and piracy in this region are focused on kidnapping crew for ransom and stealing cargo.

Southeast Asia

Nearly one quarter of the world’s commerce and half its oil pass through the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea. The majority of piracy incidents are quickly executed, non-confrontational “smash and grab” operations that take place within territorial waters while ships are at anchor or berthed.

Somali Piracy

  • 2008

    84 incidents

  • 2009

    181 incidents

  • 2010

    182 incidents

  • 2011

    166 incidents

  • 2012

    32 incidents

Gulf of Guinea Piracy

  • 2011

    104 incidents

  • 2012

    86 incidents

SE Asian Piracy

  • 2011

    178 incidents

  • 2012

    126 incidents

 
UNITED STATES NAVY
Operate FORWARD Be READY

Timeline

"This was an incredible team effort... of all the men and women
who made this rescue possible. The actions of Captain Phillips
and the civilian mariners of the Maersk Alabamawere heroic."
Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, U.S. Naval Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet / Combined Maritime Forces, April 12, 2009

U.S. concerned about piracy before Maersk Alabama

In February 2009, just two months before M/V Maersk Alabama was attacked, All Hands Magazine detailed U.S. Navy and international efforts to combat piracy in the region. Click HERE to download the issue

April 8, 2009 - Pirates repelled, but the story wasn't over

With information at a minimum, we learned that a pirate attack had been stopped by the Alabama's crew. It was the sixth such attack in a week. We covered the story, with no idea how much bigger it would become in the coming hours. Read our initial report HERE.

April 9, 2009 - Pirates at the helm, U.S. Navy on the scene

Less than 24 hours after the attack, with Maersk Alabama master Captain Phillips being held hostage in a lifeboat, USS Bainbridge arrived on the scene. Click HERE to read the official news as it was known at the time.

April 12, 2009 - "An incredible team effort."

After four days in the lifeboat, Captain Phillips was rescued by the U.S. Navy. Get the facts from our initial press release here.

April 13, 2009 - "Textbook"

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called the rescue "textbook", but acknowledged the ongoing issue of piracy in the region. Get additional details of the operation and the piracy situation in our post-action report HERE.

April 15, 2009 - Bainbridge responds to another attack

A mere three days after the Mearsk Alabama conclusion, pirates attacked another ship in the region. USS Bainbridge was again at the scene to respond. Read about it HERE.

November 18, 2009 - Applying the lessons learned

M/V Maersk Alabama employed new anti-piracy measures following the April attack. Just seven months later, they were attacked again. Read about what happened HERE.

Media
Gallery

My Sea Story

Former Commanding Officer of USS Bainbridge, Captain Castellano, tells his sea story about piracy in the waters near Somalia.

My Sea Story

Interview with Former Commander of CIT-151

Finally Safe

Shots Fired

Interview with Former Commander of CIT-151

NORFOLK (Nov. 19, 2009) Capt. Richard Phillips, former Captain of the container ship MV Maersk Alabama, publicly thanks Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) for his dramatic rescue at sea. On Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, Navy SEALs positioned on the fantail of the Bainbridge opened fire and killed three of the pirates who were holding Phillips hostage. Phillips was later rescued by the crew of the Bainbridge. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Danals/Released)

Face to Face

NORFOLK, Va. (Nov. 19, 2009) Capt. Richard Phillips, former commanding officer of M/V Maersk Alabama, publicly thanks the commanding officer and Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) for his dramatic rescue at sea. On Easter Sunday, April 12, Navy SEALs positioned on the fantail of the Bainbridge opened fire and killed three of the pirates who were holding Phillips hostage. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Danals/Released)

A Personal Message

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2009) The life raft from the container ship MV Maersk Alabama that Capt. Richard Phillips was held captive in by Somali pirates is on permanent display at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla. Phillips thanked the members of the UDT-SEAL community for his rescue during remarks at the 2009 Veterans Day Ceremony and Muster XXIV. The annual muster is held at the museum, which is located on the original training grounds of the Scouts and Raiders. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Clark/Released)

Lifeboat makes home in Florida

INDIAN OCEAN (April 13, 2009) A team from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) tows the lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama to Boxer to be processed for evidence after the successful rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips. Phillips was held captive by suspected Somali pirates in the lifeboat in the Indian Ocean for five days after a failed hijacking attempt off the Somali coast. Boxer is deployed as part of Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group/13th MEU supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th fleet area of responsibility. Maritime security operations help develop security in the maritime environment and compliment the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists� use of the maritime environment to transport personnel and weapons or serve as a venue for attack. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Rasmussen/Released)

Team Boxer in Action

INDIAN OCEAN (April 13, 2009) The guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) tows the lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), in background, to be processed for evidence after the successful rescue of Capt. Robert Phillips. Phillips was held captive by suspected Somali pirates in the lifeboat in the Indian Ocean for five days after a failed hijacking attempt off the Somali coast. Boxer is deployed as part of Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group/13th MEU supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th fleet area of responsibility. Maritime security operations help develop security in the maritime environment and compliment the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists� use of the maritime environment to transport personnel and weapons or serve as a venue for attack. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Megan E. Sindelar/Released)

In Tow

SOMALI BASIN (April 12, 2009)  Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, stands alongside Lt. Cmdr. David Fowler, executive officer of USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) after being rescued by U.S Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia.  Philips was held hostage for four days by pirates. (Official U.S. Navy photo/RELEASED)

A Personal Thank You

SOMALI BASIN (April 12, 2009)  Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, right, stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) after being rescued by U.S Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia.  Philips was held hostage for four days by pirates. (Official U.S. Navy photo/RELEASED)

Captain to Captain

INDIAN OCEAN (April 9, 2009) In a still frame from video taken by the Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle, a 28-foot lifeboat from the U.S.-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama is seen Thursday, April 9, 2009 in the Indian Ocean. (U.S. Navy Photo)

Bird's Eye View

NORFOLK, Va. (Nov. 19, 2009) Capt. Richard Phillips, former commanding officer of M/V Maersk Alabama and Cmdr. Frank X. Castellano, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) answer questions after a ceremony publicly thanking the Bainbridge for his dramatic rescue at sea. Capt. Phillips' visit corresponds with the Nov. 21 opening of the National Geographic exhibit,

Life Raft at Nauticus

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Media


Media interested in imagery, video, or additional information on the Navy’s counter-piracy efforts, contact Navy Media Content Services at 703-614-9154 or email navymedia@navy.mil.

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